clothing has been gaining new ground in recent years. With the only real tailor in Stockholm being A.W. Bauer, Northern Europe may still have a long way to compete with the likes of New York, Vienna, London and Milan – yet this is about to change.
Consumers' understanding of massproduced clothes is being challenged, and part of the movement that yearns for a new apparel industry is embodied in the trunk show. Simply put, the trunk shows refers to a system whereby tailors and cobblers travel the world in search for new clients. Once a loyal group of customers has been found, they return on a regular basis, giving the customers a chance to try on items that are in the process of being made, as well as placing new orders. The phenomenon in itself isn't new.
Travelling has been a natural part of the two professions for centuries – the most famous examples being the renowned Savile Row couturiers who, since the 1960s, have been touring the globe in search of new clients, at the moment most of whom are to be found in the US and Middle-East. According to a reliable source on Savile Row, trunk shows make up for forty to fifty percent of a typical London tailor's turnover. The much hyped store The Armoury, based in Hong Kong and also, as of recently, New York, was one of the first to jump on the trunk show bandwagon. Hoping it would help set them apart from the competition, there's no doubt it has worked a treat. Their unique business approach involves selling items by carefully selected brands while also working with external tailors and shoemakers who regularly visit the stores to secure new customers.
For The Armoury, the concept is key to their business and a significant factor in the shops' turnover. And, since The Armoury is such a big name in the industry, it's in turn able to help out smaller, independent tailors by representing them. Liverano & Liverano, Orazio Luciano, Ciccio Japan, the trouser maker Ambrosi Napoli and the shoemaker Saint Crispin are some of the labels whose success can be attributed to the helping hand offered by The Armoury.
With consumers' increasing awareness of the role sustainability and longevity play in the fashion industry, the demand for made-to-measure is bound to grow. As for Northern Europe and Sweden, this geographic area will no doubt become a target for tailors and cobblers looking for new clientèle. A number of players have made a name for themselves in Sweden recently, including Florence based Sartoria CorCos, Polish Zaremba Bespoke and Neapolitan Napolisumisura. Selling premium footwear by UK based Gaziano & Girling and Austrian-Romanian Saint Crispins, the shoe shop Skoaktiebolaget in Stockholm have taken on a number of new partners, specialising in bespoke shoes.
The second annual edition of the S hoegazing Super Trunk Show, which took place in Stockholm in September last year, was already four times the size of the original edition in 2014. A golden opportunity for Europe's shoe industry, the social event hosted several exhibitors who showcased their products and took on new orders from customers who, as of only a few years ago, would have had to travel abroad for that kind of exclusive service.